Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Getting out of a sticky situation

Photo by Irfan Darian (2011)
I have always thought that eating in itself shouldn't be something too difficult an activity to do, since humans are naturally wired to be able to eat without learning how to. But when it comes to actually getting that morsel from the bowl/plate into our mouths, that is where the challenge begins. 

And with a greater variety of food at our disposal right now, it is just a matter of time before our preferences for certain foods are dictated more by how easy or difficult for it to be eaten, rather than its actual taste.

I had the (dis)pleasure of experiencing such a moment of epiphany when I had a serving of Cinnamon Melts from a McCafe branch. Well I do admit that I have a sweet tooth, but the thing about eating such stickily sweet food is that there is a high tendency for it to stick onto its container when it cools down. 

Now this is where DESIGN can take centrestage; the idea here is to design an eating container that caters to such differing and customised eating experience. I mean shouldn't there be different containers for different types of food, or at least taking into account the overall eating experience of the customers from the first spoonful, to the final morsel. Take for instance eating ice-cream, wouldn't it be good if the container that contains our ice-cream takes into account the higher liquefied form of the ice-cream towards the end of our eating experience. Or how about eating 'satay' (barbequed meat on sticks), the perennial favorite for many of us. Trying to dip the portions of meat located at the centre of the stick into a small shallow bowl of peanut gravy is definitely a challenge for most of us, so shouldn't there be a change at least in how the eating utensils are designed? But then again, some purists might argue that having those 'inconveniences' are themselves part and parcel of 'experiencing' the dish! I guess it boils down to what makes one happy with a dish, some like it clean and easy, and some like it a little messy. To each his/her own I guess.

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